In the programming world, many have grown accustomed to exam simulation software to help pass those Microsoft puzzlers. But just when you thought all was safe… the software giant release their Solutions 70-100 test. Move over cushy multi-choice, enter stage ‘Case Study’…
The Solutions 70-100 exam is required for completion of both the Visual Basic and C++ routes of the MCSD qualification. And we’re not talking easy multi-choice here, but case studies requiring you to arrange on-screen data-flow diagrams, produce entity-relationship drawings, prioritisation, organisation, blah, blah… all the stuff programmers hate.
Now when I first heard about this exam, I headed straight to my nearest digital bookstore and ordered the few guides available. In all honesty, they were about as effective as an alcoholic on University Challenge—containing nothing that even remotely resembled the demonstration test found on Microsoft’s certification website.
So I, and numerous fellow geeks were stuck. What’s to do? The new ‘case study’ format combined with the old multi-choice puzzlers was surely too difficult to throw into a reasonably priced exam simulation…
Or maybe not.
I’ve been impressed with exam simulations from Transcender before. And their latest offering is no exception.
In all honesty, I was initially doubtful that a company which previously knocked out relatively simple multi-choice programs could confidently stroll down the completely alien Case Study Avenue. I was wrong.
The Transcender package, in its awfully groovy transparent CD case, comes complete with three pre-programmed examinations, each containing an average of twelve questions. And approximately four of those questions are complete case studies – meaning you’re presented with a separate screen in which you can analyse details of a proposed system and design flows and so on, around it.
From Web-based report tracking applications to warehouse inventory programs, the similarity of these case studies to the real thing genuinely amazes me. It’s as though they entered Bill’s office one night and stole the question lists…
[Transcender managers blush – particularly the one wearing a balaclava and holding a set of keys curiously titled ‘Seattle Offices’]
Features such as results graphing and in-depth explanations of each question are also thrown in, as is typical of most Transcender products. But I shan’t delve into such intricacies here – check out my previous geek-peeks at their products at WinPlanet.
Any bad features? Well, unless you install bulky ‘security files’, you have to work with the CD in your drive. And organising a few of the flow diagrams on-screen got a little messy, with connecting lines sprawled all over. But on the whole, it all worked swimmingly.
Oooh, but I forgot something. I wish to complain about Transcender’s impeccably high pass rates of 85%… simply unachievable and even higher than Microsoft’s own standards! Tut tut…
This latest simulation is undoubtedly Transcender’s greatest creation to date.
With a layout and question list shockingly similar to the real thing, I’d recommend anyone sitting the examination to check out this release – if only to get accustomed with the new format.
Although no mean feat at $149 per copy, you can be assured you’re getting as close to the real thing as possible—a quality I personally haven’t found anywhere else.
You know, I have a few nerdy associates that have taken the test… and later brag about how it’s all "common sense, really".
Sure, but a little cheating never hurt anyone…
Visit Transcender on the Web at www.transcender.com—trial copies of the Solutions 70-100 exam available for download.